Motorists in Wellington can expect to be stopped and questioned by police on their reason for travel, as authorities report high traffic volumes since the move to alert level 3 at 11.59pm on Tuesday.
Wellington District Road Policing manager Inspector Wade Jennings said there had been road policing checkpoints set up at Oriental Bay and Makara Beach yesterday.
At a checkpoint at Makara Rd Saddle, three cyclists and one motorist had been spoken to and turned around, with three warnings were also issued.
He said the pod of orcas in the Pauatahanui Inlet had also drawn a large number of people to see them.
"Road policing staff have issued 12 formal warnings in relation to people travelling to view the pod," he said.
"It is important to remember that recreational activity and exercise at alert level 3 should be in your local area. Stay close to home and go to your local park or beach, not necessarily your favourite one."
Under alert level 3 travel remains heavily restricted to allow only for going to work or school, or shopping or getting exercise in your local area.
Police would be stepping up their road policing visibility, conducting reassurance patrols and checkpoints to ensure compliance with level 3 restrictions.
Compliance checkpoints would be established at fixed locations on State Highways and local roads where there had been high traffic volumes.
Motorists can expect to be stopped and questioned about the purpose of their travel, and turned around if their reason is not permitted under alert level 3.
District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell said on the whole they were pleased with compliance across the Wellington region since the move to alert level 4 on August 17.
"While we are fortunate to now be in alert level 3, it is not the time to lose sight of our collective goal, which is to stamp out Covid.
"We all know what we need to do and we all need to play our part – so please, stay in your bubble and continue to travel within your local area for permitted movement only."
In the first nine days of alert level 4 lockdown police received more than 1000 breach notifications, and one person had been charged.
Of the notifications, 704 were about a gathering, while 268 were about a business and 107 about a person.
However, of this number only 21 were given warnings and one was prosecuted.
Last week Wellington District Road Policing manager Inspector Wade Jennings said a large number of speeding infringements had also been issued in the first week of lockdown.
Five people were caught drink driving in the capital on the first Monday of lockdown, as well as 87 speeding infringements issued. One of these drivers was travelling at over 130km/h.
And on the first day of lockdown 111 infringements were issued to motorists for speeding, with one driver travelling at 160km/h and several others caught at 130km/h and 145km/h.